Home » Camp » Bluegrass Jam Camp

Bluegrass Jam Camp

posted in: Camp, Southwest 5

Taught by Larry Kernagis using the Wernick Method*

Big Bear Lake, CA at the Vintage Lakeside Inn

41076 Big Bear Boulevard, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

May 14-16, 2021

Friday 6-9:30pm; Saturday 9am-5pm; Sunday 9am-2pm

Tuition: $250

Includes Saturday lunch; $25 discount for Larry’s returning students! $100 deposit holds your spot

Call 909-866-4978 to reserve your room at the Inn; ask for special camp discount: $119 (king) or $129 (2 queens) per night.

  • We welcome you to register and promptly receive 18 pages of useful student materials, with access to video playlist of 116 jam favorites and great ways to work on jam skills!
  • If dates of this class change, we will promptly update this page and notify all registrants to switch their registration if the new dates work for them. If they don’t work a full refund will be given.
  • Deposits fully refundable on request until 7 days pre-class — a change from our usual policy.
  • Watch our class listing, always updated, and go here to be notified of future classes.
  • All Wernick Method classes/camps will be conducted either outdoors or in very well-ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Safe 6′ distancing at all times
  • Temperature screening of all participants upon arrival, followed by all washing hands
  • Prior disinfecting of common surfaces (doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, etc.)
  • Anything handed from one participant to another (such as a borrowed tuner or capo) will be disinfected before transfer.
  • With these measures taken, we expect that all can relax and enjoy the class!


Larry Kernagis was raised during the folk revival era of the 60s, cutting his chops on Flatt & Scruggs and the Kingston Trio. Eventually, he became a banjo instructor at the famed Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. Larry has led Bluegrass jams at festivals across the country for the past 30 years. He now employs his banjo, guitar and vocal skills entertaining with “greengrass” Celtic group Def Leprechaun.

Larry’s students say:

“Larry was an excellent instructor. Patient and kind, he brought the music to life and gave me the tools to do the same.”

“Larry encouraged us to try and get beyond our fears and try different things. He is very patient.”

“When I was young I was a classically trained violinist, but Larry taught me to play music with the other half of my brain…It’s been a great experience.”

“I really feel like I improved and am now able to jam with almost anyone.”

* Wernick Method Classes teach real bluegrass jamming!

  • All bluegrass instruments welcome
  • No jamming experience necessary
  • You will be jamming the first class!
  • Friendly, encouraging, knowledgeable teaching.
  • Gentle tempos! Mistakes expected!
  • Music reading not needed or used
  • Singing not required, but encouraged and taught.
  • Easy 2- and 3-chord songs, slow speeds.
  • Soloing not required! “Faking” solos taught.
  • Understanding, low-pressure, time-tested teaching
  • Intermediates welcome, and given added challenges
  • Hands-on learning in large and small groups
  • Learn many bluegrass standards
  • Full ground rules and etiquette of typical jams
  • How to lead songs and how to follow new songs
  • How to find melodies, fake solos, sing harmony
  • Ear skills taught and emphasized, as in real bluegrass
  • Group and individualized instruction on backup skills

Do you qualify? It’s easier than you may think!

If you play guitar, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bass, or dobro… you can be part of a bluegrass jam.

Only requirements:

  • You must be able to tune your instrument (electronic tuning devices welcome) and
  • change smoothly between G, C, D, and A. (Fiddles and basses need to know which notes work with which chords)

For more info or to send payment in the mail, email office@letspick.org.

Click any photo to enlarge.

5 Responses

  1. Richard Crowe
    | Reply

    HI Larry
    Is there a special discounted rate for the room at Lakeside? They want $441.78 for two nights. Seems awfully high

    • Leslie Dare
      | Reply

      Richard, we’re glad you sent in your question, to which Larry responded directly to you. It was helpful for getting the hotel rates straightened out, so we appreciate your effort to reach out to us!

      Hope you have a really enjoyable camp.

      Regards,
      Leslie Dare, Manager
      Wernick Method Office

  2. Chris Kamen
    | Reply

    Seriously considering this, but concerned their might not be enough people to make it worthwhile due to covid, what if sign ups are not strong? Also I am a BEGINNER at guitar, dobro, mandolin, can hack my way through the basic chords well enough, can I bring all 3 or best to stick with just one instrument?

  3. Chris Kamen
    | Reply

    Booked! See you there

    • Leslie Dare
      | Reply

      Chris, glad you can join the fun. Other beginners have similar questions, and here’s a response from Larry on that.

      “What I usually tell people who are beginners is that my class is intended for all levels. We meet people where they’re at in terms of ability and take them to the next level. The folks that we normally attract to our jam camps are very patient and we establish a learning community wherein everybody learns from each other. No need to be embarrassed or intimidated.our motto is “dare to suck”. Mistakes are expected. That’s how we learn.

      “All you need to know is how to play a G, C, D and A chord on your instrument and we can make music together. I guarantee you’re going to love it.”

      I’ll share your email address so he can answer your question about which instrument(s).

      Enjoy!
      Leslie Dare, Manager
      Wernick Method Office

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *